Brooke Singer’s Suffrage Song ‘An Obstacle’

For Suffrage 125 a group of NZ women composers were asked to set poems and lyrics of the 1890s to song for a concert put on by the NZ School Of Music. French For Rabbit’s Brooke Singer, along with bandmates Penelope Esplin and Jacqui Nyman plays the world debut of ‘An Obstacle’ with words by Charlotte Stetson.

Details of the concert ‘Suffrage Songs Recomposed’ here 

I was climbing up a mountain path 
With many things to do
Important busines of my own and other people’s too
When I ran against a prejudice
Which quite cut off the view

My work was such I could not wait
My path quite clearly shown
My strength and time was limited
I carried quite a load
And there that hulking prejudice 
Sat all across the road

(chorus) An obstacle

So I spoke to him politely
For he was huge and high
And begged that he would move a bit
To let me travel by
But he smiled and as for moving 
Well he didn’t even try.

And then I begged him on my knees
In an ecstasy of woe
The mountain mists were rising fast
The sun was sinking low
When a sudden inspiration came
As sudden winds do blow

(chorus) An obstacle

I took my hat I took my stick
My load I settled fair
I approached that awful incubus 
With an absent minded air
And I walked directly through him
As if he wasn’t there.

(chorus) An obstacle

(chorus 2) No obstacle

Charlotte Stetson (abridged)
Published in the Prohibitionist, Jan 1893

 

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